The Honorable Pam JochumPresident of the Iowa State Senate2368 Jackson StDubuque, IA 52001
The Honorable Linda UpmeyerSpeaker of the Iowa House1811 N. 8th StreetClear Lake, IA 50428
September 1, 2016
The undersigned organizations urge leaders of Iowa to take action to stop deaths of Iowans riding bicycles.
Nine Iowans have died in bicycle crashes this year. Forty-eight Iowans have died in crashes in the past 10 years. Half of the fatal crashes involve motor vehicles failing to yield when passing the bicycle. The greatest alarm is the impact on young persons under 24 years old because they are involved in over half of the crashes resulting in major injuries, minor injuries, or death.
The Iowa General Assembly, Iowa Department of Transportation, and Iowa Department of Public Safety need to work together on solutions to make this tragic phenomenon end.
Iowa is known around the world because of bicycling. Our reputation is derived from events like RAGBRAI and the Jinglecross World Cup. Trail infrastructure have made Iowa known as the World Capital of Trails. Bicycling has become an economic generator with an annual impact of $364.8 million. It has also become a workforce development tool to attract the creative talent that Iowa needs to be competitive in the marketplace. Failing to address fatal bicycle crashes will damage Iowa’s world reputation, the economic impact of bicycling and trails, and workforce recruitment.
There are many immediate steps Iowa can take to stop deaths of people riding bicycles.
We need a safe passing distance law requiring vehicles to change lanes to pass. We need to end unsafe driving with increased penalties and appropriate reckless driving charges. We need safer bicycle facilities. We need enforcement of laws that prevent crashes.
Thank you for your leadership and for working so diligently to improve safety for bicycle riders. Please take action on solutions that will end fatal bicycle crashes and make Iowa a safe place to ride a bicycle.
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